Toyota is ready to impress the High Performance market by storm with a small beast that comes with 420 HP under the skin. The muscles come form one high-power 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engine turbo charged to deliver 300 HP to the front wheels. In addition, two separate electric motors, credited of 60 HP each, separately power the rear wheels. In addition the powerplant integrates a third electric motor that operates as a power generator.
The power units are no-show units but real motors. The Electric ones are standards and come from the Yaris Hybrid road car (which does very well with just one of them). On its turn the 1.6 litre combustion, direct injection, petrol engine is the Global Race Engine specifically developed by Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) according to the rules of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and will be used in various motorsport disciplines.
The technology has been experimented successfully by Toyota Racing’s TS030 Hybrid race-car in the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The two electric motors work as electric generators during the braking phase, and supplement the petrol engine during the accelerating phases.
Just like in the TS030 HYBRID, the energy recovered during the braking phase is stored in a super capacitor. Compared to the standard NiMh hybrid battery, this super capacitor has a higher power density and a fast power charge / discharge speed. As such, t is perfectly suited to the requirements of sporty driving on track, which requires brief and immediate bursts of power. In track mode, the rear electric motors reach a combined maximum power of 120hp for up to 5 seconds per charge, reflecting the higher frequency of braking and acceleration events during circuit driving.
In road mode only one third of the electric push is used, for twice the time, adjusting to the different demand of torque and reduced braking.
Advanced traction control and torque vectoring.
The third electric motor, also a 60 HP unit, is located between the engine and the six-gear sequential transmission and it operates as a generator in two different cases: during deceleration to feed the super capacitor and during acceleration to directly power the rear electric motors. This takes place only when the engine output exceeds the grip potential of the front wheels. In this case the generator works like a traction control system, redirecting the torque as electric energy to the rear wheels, to boost the acceleration and to improve the handling rather than to simply limit the engine power.
Rear electric motors – one per wheel – can greatly influence the Yaris Hybrid-R handling characteristics during cornering by altering the distribution of torque between the left and right rear wheels.
On its turn, each motor operates independently as a generator or a motor to achieve the same effect as an intelligent torque-vectoring differential.
Depending on the radius of the curve, the system can send more torque to the outside rear wheel allowing higher cornering speeds into the corner (middle-speed curves), apply more braking force to the inside wheel (fast curves), or even brake and accelerate each wheel independently (slow curves) to adjust the yaw effect for a better line, to limit steering angle, and understeer.
The look of the Yaris-R Concept has not been revealed yet but for a rendering that only shows the set of mind that has inspired the designers. Expect large tracks, huge tyres and a spectacular interior.
First edited on August 26th, 2013.